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Awesome shot, I love night time photography, great composition
Brian I have one problem, when you focus stacked to get a sharp Milky Way you needed to stack another shot do the town lights are in focus. It’s not possible to have the rocks in focus and the sky in focus but the horizon out of focus.
Thanks Robert, The sky is a number of shots stacked (merged in Sequator) and the foreground (boulder and town) are a number of layers that are light painted but there isn't any focus stacking as such on the foreground. The town and boulders are focussed on the same plane. In hindsight I perhaps could have focus stacked the town line but I don't think it would have made any significant difference.
for me, if the town lights were not there, i.e. just black, I don't think I would miss them, as for me, they really don't add all that much, but I can see they should have been sharper
I try to get a dusk shot or blue hour for the distance shot - and adjust the colour balance in post. Do you use a tracker ?
I have not had the chance to use a tracker
@Buddy Scott they are worthwhile especially if you want to use a longer lens for more of a deep sky perspective. For wide field shots I have not as much although it cn help keeping noise down by allowing more images in a stack. Great job stacking. by the way.
What is a tracker?
A tracker or an equatorial mount is a mount for instruments that compensates for Earth's rotation by having one rotational axis parallel to the Earth's axis of rotation. This type of mount is used for astronomical telescopes and cameras. The advantage of an equatorial mount lies in its ability to allow the instrument attached to it to stay fixed on any celestial object with diurnal motion by driving one axis at a constant speed - Wikipedia
@Brian Dean Thanks for the explanation. I believe I've seen one at B&H the last time I was in New York.
A tracker wasn't used for this photo. I did take 8 star or background images on my Nikon Z6 (at 25sec, f/2.8, ISO 3200). These were stacked or merged to form the sky or star layer in a program called Sequator. The foreground/boulder layer was made from 5 layers for 25sec, f/5, ISO 500. Each layer was light painted from around each side of the boulders and then blended in photoshop. This was the first time I've tried this type of multi-layer, light painted combination nightscape image and I'm pleased with the outcome. If you want to see great tutorials on this technique see Nightscape Images on Youtube by a fellow Aussie, Richard Tatti.